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The slippery descent into Hubris

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  • The slippery descent into Hubris

    Say a rookie mage commits an act of Hubris at wisdom 7 and the act is an understanding one. He rolls 3 dice, fails, loses a dot of Wisdom, and then also gets either Meglomaniacal or Rampant as a condition or obsession. Won't that make the mage go on a hubris binge where he will probably lose at least 2 more dots of Wisdom to falling by which he is probably flagged as a dangerous mage, and won't his new obsession compel him to do acts of Hubris at the falling level until he eventually becomes Mad?

  • #2
    Bearing in mind that neither Condition prevents you from raising your Gnosis to get more Obsessions and that Rampant's resolution criterion is mechanically straightforward to hit, yes, the risk of cascading down the ladder and self-destructing is very definitely present.


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    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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    • #3
      Yep, Hubris is especially easy for those with cosmic reality bending powers. That being said, there are workarounds.

      One option is for cabal mates to point it out. For example, a mage with the megalomaniacal condition will probably be called out on how absurdly awful they are as diplomats. So the power crazy mage will have need to be humble and not be the face for a while. The probability also need to be very careful of how they use intimidation, which makes sense since it shows an effort to control themselves.

      There is always the option of confronting the hubris. Summoning a goetia, or a Supernal Summoning, journeying into their own Oneiros to confront themselves, contacting a Legacy specialist to do it for them if they don't know the Arcana well, etc.

      They can always talk to someone good at teaching restraint or even getting them to admit it was an Act of Hubris. Guardians probably have a list of these people for each Consilium and would be very interested in facilitating the process.

      Basically, once Wisdom is lost, the character needs to admit there was even an Act of Hubris in order to stop the spiral. Then actively commit to earn or buy the Wisdom back, especially if they rolled a dramatic fail (since a powerful Mind mage can cure the normal conditions). Wisdom takes active effort to maintain and that way restoring/keeping it can lead to all sorts of plot hooks.
      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-21-2019, 06:57 PM.


      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
        The simplest one is to have a Willpower ready for these occasions
        You explicitly can't spend Willpower on rolls to resist losing Wisdom from Acts of Hubris.


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        Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
          Bearing in mind that neither Condition prevents you from raising your Gnosis to get more Obsessions and that Rampant's resolution criterion is mechanically straightforward to hit, yes, the risk of cascading down the ladder and self-destructing is very definitely present.
          "Hold onto your buttcheeks" comes to mind.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
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          Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by maryshelly View Post
            Say a rookie mage commits an act of Hubris at wisdom 7 and the act is an understanding one. He rolls 3 dice, fails, loses a dot of Wisdom, and then also gets either Meglomaniacal or Rampant as a condition or obsession. Won't that make the mage go on a hubris binge where he will probably lose at least 2 more dots of Wisdom to falling by which he is probably flagged as a dangerous mage, and won't his new obsession compel him to do acts of Hubris at the falling level until he eventually becomes Mad?
            This has happened in a game of mine. It was an epic development that lead to tons of role playing and a wonderfully tragic downfall, where one of the groups PCs descended into one of the Mad in the first 3 sessions. That said, our group goes in with the expectation for such potential outcomes, geared towards creating stories of cosmic horror where even ascension is treated at best as a mixed bag and Hubris is expected. We found it created ton story potential, as now one of the Mad was a friend of the group and is not just a monster to kill, and other combos of Wisdom breaks, Conditions, and Paradox have lead to a really rich game.

            That said, if you are not part of such a group who enjoys this degree/style of roleplay or have different themes in mind, there is nothing wrong with avoiding this! I would point out that conditions and roleplay only are enforced as much as you and your group wishes them to be. I have played Mage as a more traditional style of rpg with less of the cosmic horror, and more a party of Dr. Stranges, and there are a couple of ways to address the risk of losing Wisdom besides players just avoiding those circumstances.

            The first is a house rule of mine where you cannot lose more than one Tier due to the results of a single break. Having someone fail one roll and then the deck basically stack increasingly against them is frustrating, so I have run games where once you have dropped from Enlightened to Understanding, or Understanding to Falling, you essentially count the drop into the new tier as meeting the condition requirements for whatever conditions pulled you down if those conditions arose from Wisdom Breaks.

            The exception is if the initial Wisdom Break dropped your tier, in which case the halt is if you reach the bottom of the new tier. This is to prevent someone from immediately resolving from a drop. Furthermore, this does not alleviate other conditions. If a character manages to regain Wisdom without resolving the conditions, they also lose the benefit of this house rule.

            Essentially, the reason for this in game (as out of game this a frustration prevention feature) is the character having a moment of snapping back a bit by the decline. Essentially, it plays out thematically as a moment of clarity, the “what have I done?” As they slip ever closer to madness. It then allows the players to decide if they want their character to try to pull themselves back or if their character finds themselves deciding that whatever it was they want must be worth the loss of Wisdom.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              You explicitly can't spend Willpower on rolls to resist losing Wisdom from Acts of Hubris.
              Fixed it, thanks.


              New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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